Most helpful critical review
115 of 137 people found the following review helpful
A So-So Book - a review of "Dear Zoo"
on November 22, 2005
This book is okay. Others raved about it but my three year old son found it boring. The reason I think is that he *wasn't* introduced to this book as a baby or toddler. First books generally tend to remain favorites, so my advice would be not to buy this for a Preschooler. A baby or young toddler would probably like it fine.
-- Pretty sturdy flaps that open from different sides. This feature helps young children exercise both their memory and fine motor skills (little fingers)
-- 17 pages including the title page. I know the description says 24, but they must be counting blank pages and the covers pages.
-- Interesting subject for babies and toddlers.
-- Text is repetitive and helps with baby and toddler memory and prediction.
-- For Preschoolers content is boring. The eight animals chosen are 'old hat' by the time most children hit the 2 to 3 range. Animals are: Elephant, giraffe, lion, camel, snake, monkey, frog, dog.
-- There is no rhyme in the text. Rhyme is one way to teach young children about how words work in similar ways.
--Text generally (after the first page) runs along the lines of "So they sent me a ..." to which the answer is something like "He was too ___ ! I sent him back." [The animal that was kept was a puppy.]
Three Stars. Average book in a large field of similar products. "Dear Zoo" seems sturdy (we borrowed ours from the library and one would assume it has seen lots of use) and the drawings are so simple that babies won't have a problem focusing on the subject animal.
Take a look at Amazon's "Search inside this book" feature for an example of text and artwork ("Surprise Me").